81 votes

Why shouldn't dogs eat chocolate?

The reason is simple: Chocolate contains cocoa which contains Theobromine. The darker the chocolate is (meaning the more cocoa it contains) the more theobromine it contains. This is a bitter alkaloid ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.6k
52 votes
Accepted

Is it true that all spiders are venomous?

I searched Google for "non-venomous spiders". The first result that came up was Uloboridae (Wikipedia): Uloboridae is a family of non-venomous spiders, known as cribellate orb weavers or ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.6k
42 votes
Accepted

How can the organic mercury compound Thiomersal be not dangerously toxic?

Thiomersal is broken down into two compounds, thiosalicylate and ethylmercury (Ensink 2015). The thiosalicylate it is relatively non-toxic, and there is even some evidence that this compound could ...
rotaredom's user avatar
  • 2,711
32 votes
Accepted

How is heavy water detrimental to the human body?

The question is already answered by Armand. I am just going to elaborate on that by referencing the paper. Different isotopes of chemical elements have slightly different chemical behaviors, but for ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 1,214
29 votes

Is antivenom fatal?

1. Synopsis I'd like to preface this by saying don't randomly use medicines without a doctor's advice. It's fairly unlikely antivenom would cause you any harm but in some cases, antivenom could be ...
Jam's user avatar
  • 1,506
25 votes

Why shouldn't dogs eat chocolate?

The toxic ingredient in chocolate is in the mythylxanine class, a substance called theobromine. It is much like theophylline; overdoses of theophylline used to be very common before the advent of ...
anongoodnurse's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

How does methamphetamine (meth) damage neurons?

Nice question! I will directly begin with the process through which methamphetamine causes damage to neurons, putting in as much details as are known, and adding appropriate citations wherever ...
another 'Homo sapien''s user avatar
14 votes

How is heavy water detrimental to the human body?

Substitution of deuterium atoms for normal hydrogen atoms changes structure and function at the atomic scale, disrupting normal biological processes. It causes changes in protein conformation and ...
Armand's user avatar
  • 1,711
13 votes
Accepted

How do I calculate a "full-life" from a half-life of substance elimination?

There is no such thing as a "full-life", because in most relevant mathematical models (the simplest and most common being first-order exponential decay), the time required for all the the ...
electronpusher's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

How harmful is aluminium?

Here is a link to the Public Health Statement for Aluminum produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States. There is much more information on the web page but ...
wanderweeer's user avatar
  • 2,733
8 votes
Accepted

If alcohol is a depressant, why does it makes certain people more hyperactive?

These types of reactions in pharmacology in general are called paradoxical effects. The main effect of alcohol on the CNS is the potentiation of GABA receptors. GABA receptors are (mostly) inhibitory ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.6k
7 votes
Accepted

Are all quadrupeds edible?

Edible by whom? Lets assume humans. Yes all quadrpeds are edible though you may not want to eat every part. For example, the scent glands of a skunk, or the quills of a porcupine are repulsive or ...
TonyH's user avatar
  • 407
7 votes
Accepted

Rust on kettle dangerous to consume?

Background: Iron exists in a wide range of oxidation states, −2 to +6, although +2 and +3 are the most common. How is Iron Handled by the Body: According to Wikipedia: After uptake in human ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

How is a very small quantity of poison able to kill a large organism?

"Cyanide" doesn't refer to just one compound, but given the lethal dose you mention of "half a gram" you are probably referring to potassium cyanide, with a molecular weight of about 65g/mol, so 0.5 ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.6k
6 votes

Could humans breathe if the average methane content of the atmosphere increased to 1%?

Methane is biologically inert and can only act as an asphyxiant at high concentrations by displacing oxygen. An environmental exposure limit has been set at 5,000 ppm, though 10,000 ppm (1%) had no ...
canadianer's user avatar
  • 17.7k
6 votes
Accepted

Is chocolate poisonous?

Alkaloid synthesis is energy consuming for plants and have complex metabolic pathway. If their evolutionary history is not known with certainty, they have numerous uses and are often toxic to ...
A. Bourgoin's user avatar
6 votes

Can a vaccine or antidote be administrated via gases or sprays?

There are a number of currently used aerosolized vaccines throughout the world. Generally, these are studied and administered in single individual doses. There are advocates for the use of larger, ...
De Novo's user avatar
  • 8,791
5 votes
Accepted

What makes white phosphorus toxic?

There seems to be some difference on the development of symptoms depending on the route of uptake, but eventually poisoning with white phosphorus leads to kidney and liver damage. Oral uptake leads ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.6k
5 votes
Accepted

Are turkish hazelnuts edible?

First off all let me say something about this tree. Turkish hazelnut (Corylus colurna) is a slow growing pyramidal tree approximately around 25 m (82ft) tall, with a stout trunk up to 1.5 m (4 ft 11 ...
L.Diago's user avatar
  • 1,863
5 votes
Accepted

Is too much CO2 in the air toxic?

CO2 forms carbonic acid in water, which helps to dissolve rocks and mountains in envitonmental science. It would slightly acidify your body with what is called a weak acid. 5% can cause acidosis and ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 10.4k
5 votes
Accepted

Do violet potatoes contain more or less solanine than normal potatoes?

Seems to be about the same. In Effect of Genotype and Environment on the Glycoalkaloid Content of Rare, Heritage, and Commercial Potato Varieties, Tables 1 and 2 list 60 different potato varieties ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
5 votes

How can one relate in vitro studies of caffeine (dose expressed as concentration) to dietary intake of caffeine (dose in mass)?

In the mentioned study, they tried to support the evidence from earlier studies in which caffeine consumption was associated with skin aging and slow wound healing: Our research confirms our ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 8,079
5 votes

Can a second mass extinction by microbes happen?

First of all, let’s consider your Methanosarcina scenario in specific. Methanosarcina with those properties are still around. So, there is no reason to expect that introducing some ancient ...
Wrzlprmft's user avatar
  • 585
5 votes
Accepted

Do cochineals ("scale bugs") form aluminium complexes themselves? Where do they get such large quantities so quickly and how do they handle it safely?

Aluminium moves within plants as a complex with ligands such as oxalate, malate, and citrate. Plant cells also hide the aluminium (and other junk) in vacuoles. That is most likely the immediate source ...
Polypipe Wrangler's user avatar
4 votes

Are all quadrupeds edible?

Polar bear (and probably a seal) liver is toxic due high concentration of Vitamin A. Hawksbill Sea Turtle is probably toxic as it consumes poisonous sponges and its "body fat absorbs the toxins ...
Maxim Kuleshov's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Identifying three species of Datura

Okay, so as far as the blue and white flower goes I'm pretty sure it's a cultivar of ipomoea called Flying Saucer which is a hybrid of heavenly blue (I. tricolor) and Pearly gates (also I. tricolor) ...
user29734's user avatar
4 votes

Is there a metabolic pathway that generates methanol?

This is an old question by now, but I found it interesting, so here's my two cents :) Methanol has long been known to normally occur in humans; one study from 1963 demonstrates its presence in breath....
Roland's user avatar
  • 5,705
4 votes
Accepted

How is honey not toxic to our epithelial cells?

I'll change my initial comment into a real answer. The human digestive tract has evolved to allow us to be broadly omnivorous, safely consuming a wide range of vegetable, animal, and mineral-based ...
MattDMo's user avatar
  • 15.3k
4 votes

Is a virus a poison?

Although "Virus" literally means "Poison" in Latin, it would be a great over-simplification to regard a Virus as a Poison. Now, most poisons are chemical compounds that interfere ...
AkashdeepKar's user avatar

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible